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Adventures of Superman: Season 1

4.7 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adventures of Superman, The Complete First Season (DVD)

Look! Up In the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! The classic "Adventures of Superman" episodes from the 1950s starring George Reeves set the tone for how many people still think of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent works for the Metropolis Daily Planet. But with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, he also battles for truth and justice as Superman. In season one, Superman rescues Lois and Jimmy repeatedly while performing heroic deeds all over the country in these earnest, comic-inspired stories.


In 1952 Superman flew right into the hearts and minds of the American TV audience faster than a speeding bullet. Though most people were already familiar with man of steel through his comic books, as well as the popular radio show, it was the new medium's Adventures of Superman that transformed our resident Kryptonian into a timeless icon. For many young baby boomers, Superman was the ultimate symbol of truth, justice and the American way. After watching this nostalgic trip back in time it is easy to see why: George Reeves. Reeves is the quintessential Superman. He is kind, confident, smart, always does the right thing and can literally do anything physically. Even Reeves' Clark Kent is cool, even cocky without any of the trademarked shy, clumsy and hickish traits the character has developed over the years. And then there's Phyllis Coates as the Lois Lane. Coates portrayal of Lois is surprisingly one of the stronger female roles in '50s television. She is one tough cookie able to stand her ground against criminals, fight off bad guys and is not afraid to outwardly express herself. Sadly, Phyllis Coates would be replaced by Noel Neill in subsequent seasons.

Adventures of Superman also stands the test of time well as one of the best shows from the early days of television. A lot of it has to do with how the writers, producers and actors approached the making of the show. This first season, as well as the second, were made as if they were making a serious show suitable for kids and adults. Instead of being a kids' comic book show, the episodes have a strong "mini-serial-crime-movie" feel, are very story driven and include loads of elements from the popular film noir style of the 1950s. This is evident in such classic episodes such as the season opener "Superman on Earth," "The Stolen Costume" where Superman has his costume stolen by a burglar, and the tense horror-noir "The Haunted Lighthouse." Also included on this DVD set is the 1951 theatrical release Superman and The Mole Men which later became the televised two-part episode "The Unknown People." --Rob Bracco

Special Features

  • 26 episodes on five discs
  • Commentary by Superman chroniclers Gary H. Grossman and Chuck Harter on four episodes
  • The 1951 theatrical feature film Superman and the Mole Men
  • Retrospective documentary: Adventures of Superman: From Inkwell to Backlot
  • Pony Express Days: vintage Warner Bros. historical short starring George Reeves
  • Original Kellogg's cereal commercials

Product Details

  • Actors: George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, John Hamilton
  • Producers: Whitney Ellsworth, Bernard Luber, Robert Maxwell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 667 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000A5046K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Adventures of Superman: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've always gotten razzed when I say that George Reeves was the greatest 'Superman'. After all, Christopher Reeve was closest to the comic book, Dean Cain introduced a level of sexiness to the character, and Tom Welling is the current teen heartthrob; the general impression of Reeves was as the chubby, aging, 'long johns'-clad Superman, from the silly color TV episodes of the late 50s, who "killed himself" when the series ended.

The new DVD "Adventures of Superman - Complete First Season" should put that impression to rest!

Filmed in B&W, in 1951, the youthful, 37-year old Reeves offered a 'Man of Steel' of compassion, integrity, and honor, with a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile for the TV audiences who shared his 'secret'. Far more charismatic than his movie serial predecessor, Kirk Alyn, he was as quick to use his head and his fists as his "Powers and Abilities' to defend "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" against gangsters, spies, and evildoers. While some may quibble that his 'Clark Kent' was TOO heroic, and similar to his costumed alter ego, he was an unabashed role model for a generation of young viewers, and he never let us down, during the 'Superman' years, either on screen, or off.

The first season episodes are, perhaps, the best of the series, produced by veterans of the B-movie industry who knew how to make action-packed stories quickly, and cinematically. The plots are rich in film noir touches ("The Haunted Lighthouse" is so atmospheric that it could stand beside many of the noir dramas of the 40s), and offer, for the first time, believable flying effects (achieved, in large part, by double-exposing film of Reeves hanging by wire and harness, attached to a body-contoured 'flying pan', worn under his suit, with moving aerial shots).
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Format: DVD
What a treat, both for Superman fans and people who just enjoy classic t.v. shows of the fifties. It's pretty much universally acknowledged that season one of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN is far and away the best of the series. George Reeves was a no-nonsense hero, and quite believable in the role. The series had plenty of action and the first-season scripts were usually solid.

And I'm pleasantly surprised to see the rare theatrical feature, SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN included here. Although it's essentially Superman on a b-movie budget, there's plenty to like about this forgotten piece of Superman history.

A common practice in the early days of television was to get a show's actors to endorse the advertisers' products. Perhaps the rarest and most unusual treat for fans of classic t.v. are the orignial Kellog's cereal commercials, featuring cast members from the show. Clark Kent sells Frosted Flakes!

There's an informative documentary, with comments from Superman experts and a VERY old Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the show. With all these extras and a first-rate presentation of the episodes, this is a classic t.v. lover's dream come true. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Adventures Of Superman" premiered in American living rooms on Friday, September 19th, 1952 (when the first episode aired on Chicago's WENR-TV), and continued for a total of six TV seasons. 104 episodes of the series were produced and aired (via syndication), with all 26 black-and-white episodes of the series' first season represented within this classy-looking 5-Disc DVD boxed set that was released by Warner Home Video on October 18, 2005.

The scripts for "Superman" offer up a rather fun blend of fantasy, suspense, action-adventure, and noir-like crime-drama. Plus quite a bit of comedy, to boot (both the intentional and unintentional varieties of humor).

Nearly all of the above elements can be detected in the series right from the get-go in the debut episode "Superman On Earth" (which is one of my favorites from this batch of first-year episodes). "Superman On Earth" is a great pilot episode to launch the series, IMO. Within this single 26-minute program, the whole "Superman" backstory plays out -- beginning with planet Krypton's doomed fate, to Superman's arrival on Earth as an infant (via a prototype planet-hopping spaceship constructed by his father, Jor-El), and continuing with the story of mild-mannered Clark Kent's first exciting day on the job as a "Daily Planet" newspaper reporter.

When I watch the pilot episode, I'm always impressed by the amount of material and plot points that are covered in just this initial installment of the series. And it never really feels like the writers are "rushing" to tell us the story. It seems to evolve in a well-paced manner. I think it's an exemplary beginning to the series, and sets the tone just right for future "Superman" episodes.

There's a bit of unintended humor in that first episode as well, to be sure.
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8 Comments 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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First off, I've never been "the first" to review a DVD on Amazon, so let me just say I'm thrilled. And, since today is July 7 and this DVD isn't even going to be released until October 18, I'm going to stick to some general thoughts on the show and share some information on what I have read pertaining to the bonus items to be included.

For those who don't know, this is the first season of the television program the Adventures of Superman which debuted in 1952. This season features Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane - she would be replaced by Noel Neill in the later seasons. (Neill played Lois in the Superman movie serials.) This first season is highly regarded among fans of the show, and was much more gritty or realistic than subsequent seasons. As for completeness, we'll all just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope the shows are released in their uncut versions - close to 27 minutes each!
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